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Salmando is a character in the Japan-only RPG from Squaresoft, Bahamut Lagoon, released in the mid-1990s for the SNES. Salmando is one of the dragons that accompany the protagonists in the game's tactical, turn based format. The dragons are all very powerful, but the player has little control over what they do.

Those not familiar with Squaresoft games might not think a dragon has much characterization behind it, while those who are familiar of Squaresoft's oeuvre might suspect that there has to be some sort of subplot involved. In this case, the unfamiliar would be correct. Salmando is just a dragon, and strangely enough, has no romantic subplots that can only be understood by an involved reading of Kierkegaard and/or the Zohar. Salmando squawks. He burns enemies. He flies around. When you feed him things, he grows.

And this is the interesting point about Salmando: like the other dragons in the game, he grows and gets stronger stats when he is fed various items you pick up in the game. (This developing of dragons, which should be familiar from other Squaresoft games, is one of the main points of the game, other than combat and aforementioned subplots). When you feed Salmando enough items, he turns into his perfected form. In his perfected form, he has infinite hitpoints. This means Salmando can't be killed. He is invincible. This is, as could be expected, can unbalance gameplay. Not that the game loses all of its challenge at that point: as part of the game mechanics, each dragon is tied to a team of human players, and if that team of human players is killed, the dragon disappears from the field of play. However, usually by the time Salmando gets that strong, your other characters are also strong enough to avoid getting killed easily, so the game does become a matter of time.

Those familiar with Squaresoft games will recognize a pattern here. Salmando's perfected form with infinite HP is the secret bonus that makes it simple to beat the game, but is also somewhat meaningless, since the process of getting it is harder than beating the game the normal way. Finding the items to feed to Salmando to boost him to this form means taking on a bonus level that is harder than the end boss of this game. Comparisons to the entire process of getting Knights of the Round and a Gold Chocobo so you can defeat the Weapons are obvious. Some people might then ask the question of why someone would go through that process. The answer is, Squaresoft fans are fond of repetitive tasks that lead to perfection, even when such tasks make no sense. Don't question it too much, just accept it as part of the psychology of gaming.

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